My, oh my how the craft beer industry has changed.
I remember the days when we all stayed in cheap motels while attending industry events, usually two or three to a room. It was a financial struggle for almost all of the industry founders, with very few exceptions. Things were sparse. Most of us were fueled by the love and the passion of the beer and our industry. Financial success was not the motivator.
Now the host hotels of our conferences carry names like Renaissance, Westin and other high ticket venues. Veteran brewery owners are financially comfortable. Some would be considered fairly wealthy.
And one is a billionaire.
Jim Koch. At least according to an article in Bloomberg.
While total American beer sales fell 2 percent in the first half of 2013, the craft segment grew 15 percent. Boston Beer’s sales increased more than 17 percent during the period, and their stock market shares have double in the past year.
“I remind people getting rich is life’s great booby prize. Any normal person would much rather be happy than rich,” Said Koch.